Making soap at home is a surprisingly easy task. Using milk in the recipe, instead of water, makes a lovely, soft soap that is gentle on the skin. Many different oils and combinations of oils can be used. All oils have various properties such as lathering, softness, skin health, cleansing…It’s worth researching to create a personal style of soap. Most of the supplies for soap making are easily acquired at a grocery store, except for the lye. To purchase lye, try an online soap supplier like BrambleBerry.com. (A note on lye: Soap cannot be made without lye. Lye can be very dangerous and must be handled with care; however, once the lye mixes with the oils, the lye is used up. Soap is aged to also aid in dissipating the lye so that it is not harmful.) In its natural color, the milk soap is a pale yellow, so dyes are not necessary. For variety, add fragrance to the mix.
Milk Soap Recipe
6 oz. Coconut Oil
6 oz. Grape Seed Oil
9 oz. Olive Oil
1 oz. Castor Oil
7 oz. Milk (Sheep, goat, or cow. Unpasteurized is fine.) (The milk should be frozen in order to reduce the temperature caused by adding the lye.)
3 oz. Lye
1.4 oz. Fragrance (optional)
Prep: Line the mold (You can use a box or bread pan.) with wax paper. Make sure all the ingredients are fully weighed out.
One: In a well-ventilated area, with gloves and goggles on, carefully prepare the lye milk by adding the lye to the milk (never the other way around). Stir until the milk turns a pale yellowish, taking care to not breathe in the fumes. Make sure to use heat safe glass and stainless steel products to stir with.
Two: Melt coconut oil in a microwave. Add olive, castor, and grape seed oils.
Three: Slowly and carefully, still with safety equipment on, add the lye mixture to the oils and stick blend in short bursts all around the bowl.
Four: Once the mix becomes a pudding-like trace (ripples that stay on the surface when dribbled), add the fragrance oil and stir well.
Five: Pour soap into the mold. Cover the top loosely. Wrap a towel around the soap to insulate.
Six: Uncover the soap in 24 hours and gently lift out of the mold. If the soap is still too soft, wait a couple of days to cut it. Once the soap is cut, place it in a well-ventilated area for 4-6 weeks, turning once per week to ensure all sides cure evenly.
Note on use: Since this is not commercial soap, it is softer and more easily deteriorates when kept wet. After use, be sure to store the soap where it can dry-out. The soap will last for months when allowed to properly dry.